Whom should your child ask to write a letter of recommendation for their college applications?
The best recommendation letter writers are those who know your child on a personal level. They can use specific examples to highlight your child's unique qualities that will make their future alma mater a better place. Moreover, a great letter of recommendation will contain information about your child that is unlikely to be found elsewhere on their application.
For example, an English teacher whose class your child aced but doesn’t have a close relationship with should not be at the top of their list. However, the computer science teacher who mentored your child in building robots after school for an engineering competition and can attest to your child's academic potential, hard work, and leadership ability would be an excellent choice.
Many students mistakenly believe that asking someone with the most impressive title or credentials to write their recommendation letter is the best strategy. Now, if this person happens to be the individual who knows your child best, great. But remember: the admissions committee has to be impressed with your child, not the person writing the letter, when choosing between applicants with otherwise similar profiles. Therefore, your child's relationship with the letter writer—and what they can communicate about your child's accomplishments—should trump the writer’s background.
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